In Satuday’s co-main event, leading up to the highly-anticipated rematch between Deontay Wilder and Tyson Fury, former Heavyweight world champion Charles Martin will square off against former title challenger Gerald “El Gallo Negro” Washington in a 12-round IBF Heavyweight Title eliminator.
The 33-year-old Martin (27-2-1, 24 KOs) became heavyweight champion in January 2016 when he won by TKO against then unbeaten Vyacheslav Glazkov. After losing his title to Anthony Joshua, Martin has won four of his last five fights, with all of his wins coming inside the distance. Originally from St. Louis, now living in Las Vegas and currently training in Southern California with Manny Robles, Martin bounced back from a narrow decision defeat to Adam Kownacki in 2018 to earn victories in 2019 against Gregory Corbin in March and Daniel Martz in July.
“It is great to be back on the big stage,” said Martin. “Wilder vs. Fury II is the biggest heavyweight fight in a long time and it’s great to be on the PPV. February 22 will get me one step closer to my goal of becoming two-time heavyweight champion. Gerald Washington is standing in my way, so it’s my job to go right through him toward my ultimate goal.”
Washington (20-3-1, 13 KOs) is a six-foot-six heavyweight contender who was a former college football standout at the University of Southern California and a U.S. Navy veteran. Born in San Jose, California, Washington scored an impressive victory in his last outing, knocking out veteran contender Robert Helenius in July. Washington was unbeaten in his first 19 pro fights, before dropping his world title challenge against Deontay Wilder in February 2017.
“This title eliminator is a very big opportunity for me and I’m going to do everything in my power to win on February 22,” said Washington. “I have the right team behind me and the right mindset. I’ve known Martin my whole career and we even spent some time working together in the ring. I’m going to be at my best and I expect the same from him. It’s an honor to be a part of an event like this. Deontay and Tyson are both characters and I’m glad I can be a part of what’s going to be a great night of boxing on February 22.”